Monday, January 20, 2014

365 Days On A Farm - December 2013

      Scott and Jon have been chopping more wood for our wood furnace.  (It's a hungry beast)  Scott fills it in the morning and evening and it provides radiant heat to half of the home. The furnace guy will be out again tomorrow to try and resolve the remaining issue with the furnace.

       The two bedrooms upstairs are almost finished. The drywall is done and painted. Now trim and carpet is next.

      Sheldon our Great Pyreness went to the vet for a check up and shots and then on his birthday, Dec. 20th was neutered. (That was a coincidence) The temperatures have been quite a challenge, tonight it will be -10 and with the windchill -25. Sheldon has been indoors at night since his surgery and will continue inside untill the weather lets up. It has been a challenge training him to be inside a home. He thinks all things are free game. But he is a quick learner and does not like the disapproval that comes with the word "NO!". He tried to eat the house, but we have met each challenge and he has stopped howling at night. He is very intelligent. And we love him so much, he is a Hull now. 

      Amy, Scott's sister and her boyfriend Adam will be coming the day after Christmas for a short visit. They are traveling to Texas and will stop by for some family time. We look forward to meeting Adam.

      We lost our first rooster (besides that one that was eaten). The temps have been frigid, and we will be watching carefully to make sure no other ones are sick. The chicken coop is well insulated and we have put straw and wood shavings in the coop for extra warmth. We have closed up any possible drafts. Time will tell. The chickens get extra food and treats during these freezing temps. This morning they received two hot plates of oatmeal/grits with a dribble of maple syrup. We do worry.

    We had a wonderful evening with friends over the weekend. Such a lovely family. We served Buffalo Brisket and vegies, with homemade peanut butter fudge for dessert. (the regular fudge was a flop) 

    I have been baking, trying to keep the guys from eating it all before Christmas. (not kidding here, they eat cookies like potato chips) LOL

   I FINALLY ran out of laundry detergent, and had to make some more. I purchased Laundry soap from Bicycle Botanicals over the summer, and when my Tide ran out, I began using it. That was about three months ago.
    I will do a tutorial in the next post. This detergent cleans extremely well, has a wonderful scent, helps with the hard water. Is safe for HE Washer. AND ITS MORE NATURAL and Cheap!!! I am all about saving a few dollars, however, If it doesnt work well, I wont use it. Like the toothpaste recipe, I made it, gave a it a good week trial and Blech! Threw it out! I will try another recipe in the near future. For now I will use TOM's toothpaste. You see, my goal is to make ALL our products from natural ingredients. WHY?
For two reasons, it's healthier to have less chemicals and irritants to impact your health negatively and the other reason is to be self sufficent. No, You can't do it all overnight, but you can do it step by step and trial and error. You don't have to live on a farm to make these changes, you just have to be adventurous. 

     I also made Lip Balm, I LOVE THAT. I am forever searching for a lip balm that protects and heals my lips. I no longer have an issue with chapped lips. Made with natural ingredients, and Essential Oils. There are so many resources available to learn about Homemade Beauty Products. I have my own Bath Salts and Scrubs. Its very satisfying to make something that is functional, practical and efficient. Over the summer I made bug spray for our roses, and ant deterrent. It's a fun journey. I love getting out all my essential oils and equipment to create!  Makes me feel like a chemist, or a mad scientist on other days. 
    We received about 5 inches of snow last Sunday. A lot less than they forecasted. But we were prepared! We have been stocking up on provisions in case of being snowed in and power outages.
Being prepared is much better than being blind-sided.
    So here's to another wonderful month here at 365. We are about to celebrate our First Christmas here on the farm. And we are so thankful to be here and to have each other and our family. Happiness is in everyday life for us. Merry Christmas Everyone and Happy Holidays. 

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